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Fallout Review From Someone Who Never Played The Games

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hello world!
Art of Lily K
| April 20, 2024
hello world!

I always have a reason to watch a new TV show. This time, the reason was Ella Purnell, whom I love dearly. If you don’t know her… yes, you do. She started her career in movies like Never Let Me Go, Intruders, or Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. However, most of you know her voice quite well, as she voices Jinx in Netflix’s Arcane, which is a compelling performance indeed. 

So, when the Fallout trailer dropped, I knew it was based on the games, but since I haven’t played them at all, it didn’t mean much to me. No, I haven’t played any of the Fallout games; please don’t kill me. They never seemed like something I would be interested in, so I skipped them all. But! As soon as Ella Purnell appeared in the trailer, I was like: 

“God Damn it, now I have to watch this too.” 

Then, Jonathan Nolan’s name popped into view along with Lisa Joy and I was sold. Jonathan Nolan is Christopher Nolan’s brother, yes, but most importantly, he wrote Memento Mori, the short story Memento is based on, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, and my beloved Westworld. He is the executive producer (along with Lisa Joy) and the director of three episodes of Fallout, and this is great news for all of us. Why? I’ll tell you why. 

SPOILERS AHEAD! You’ve been warned. 

Walton Goggins as The Ghoul

I obviously can’t talk about this series and compare it with the games. Many people are tweeting that this is the best game adaptation ever (*cough* The Last of Us *cough* Arcane), so I will just nod and say: Sure? But I will look at it solely as a series, nothing more, nothing less.

MY…

DAYS… 

This is a true revelation if I’ve ever seen one. I’m not going to lie here; I was getting tired of Hollywood movies and TV shows. I, the big cinema person, have only seen TWO movies in the cinema this year, which is so sad for me, but I just couldn’t be bothered by any of the movies that have come out so far. I read about them, listened to people I trust, and slowly admitted that, unfortunately, we’ve gotten to a point where Hollywood productions are mostly the same. Obviously, respect for the exceptions. You can see it in my articles, too. At this point, I’ve seen way more Korean productions this year than American ones, and this is the reason why. Sure, Koreans can be repetitive, too, but they still dare to go for it.

Imagine my surprise when I started watching Fallout. It was like a breath of fresh air. Not just because of how it was shot (the cinematography is easily 10/10), but the storytelling, the acting, everything was perfect. But I am getting ahead of myself, as always. 

Fallout is the radioactive dust and air that permeates the area after a nuclear war ever breaks out. The show wastes little time getting us there. The opening is SICK. It shows us how it all started; it is so beautifully shot that it blew me completely away. Anyway, sidetracked again. Let me grab you a more accurate description from our friends at Wikipedia: “The show depicts the aftermath of the Great War of 2077, an apocalyptic nuclear exchange in an alternate history of Earth where advances in nuclear technology after WWII led to the emergence of a retrofuturistic society and a subsequent resource war. Many survivors took refuge in fallout bunkers known as Vaults, unaware each Vault was designed to perform psychological experiments on the Vault Dwellers.”

This story starts 200+ years later with Lucy (Ella Purnell), who is part of the new generation living in the safety of one of the Vaults, ready to get married and reproduce. However, things don’t go as planned, and after her father gets kidnapped, she decides to go outside the Vault and find him, no matter what. 

What was genius on the part of the creators is that the story gets three different points of view. We have Lucy, who lived her whole life in the safety of the Vault and is now naively learning of the world outside; Maximus (Aaron Moten), who is a survivor and wears the T-60 Power Armor of a faction called The Brotherhood of Steel who swore to have his revenge; and Cooper Howard, aka The Ghoul (Walton Goggins) who serves as the window to the past and resident bounty hunter of sorts. Let me praise the casting now!! 

Lucy, Wilzig (Michael Emerson) and Ma June (Dale Dickey) are waiting to see what will happen.

Walton Goggins is the best. There. I said it. I absolutely love Ella Purnell as Lucy, but I will be honest here and say whenever Walton was on screen, the others had no chance at all. And honestly, this man deserves this break so much. I’ve seen him in plenty of films and TV (Justified), and he was always very good at whatever he did, but I always felt like many people looked over him. Big mistake. He proved it here, once and for all that he is a pure genius. He plays the past Cooper Howard and the present Ghoul so effortlessly that it is magic to watch him. You don’t even question why he became who he is in the future because he and the story do a fantastic job building up his background. You just know that something terrible is behind it all because there’s a big difference between his two personas, which is glorious. Just glorious. As soon as he appeared, everyone else faded into the background. 

I will raise my hat in front of Ella and Aaron, too. They are great protagonists and put their all into their roles and I can’t wait to see how their story will progress forward. 

This can be said about the supporting cast as well. I liked the fourth – a bit smaller – storyline that Lucy’s brother Norm (Moises Arias) navigates through. It was in service to discover the looming darkness over the Vaults, and they built it up so well. I don’t want to spoil anything, but at the same time, there’s so much to talk about! 

I won’t spoil any big things because I want people to sit down and watch this series. Again, I can’t talk about how close it is to its source material, but now I want to play Fallout. At least try it out to see if it can capture me the same way as this adaptation did. Maybe I will. Maybe that’s what’s next for me. But before I do that… 

The music is SPOT. ON. I don’t want any silly questions; just believe me and accept it as it is. It’s fantastic. Perfect. The best. Never been better. 

Maximus next to the knight he serves

Without any major spoilers given away, I want to talk about the ending a little bit because it is HUGE. I think that from the very start, we all felt like something was very fishy about the whole “war” situation. And I don’t believe that it was the revelation that got to me, but how brilliantly they built up to it. That is where all the storylines we’ve been following finally connect and come to this cathartic conclusion in the end. I gasped loudly at the final scenes. And this is not even the best part! Because in this series, there’s no clear good or bad. Everyone, and I literally mean everyone, has their own faults and failures. Even the ones you can presume to be the good guys. Lucy does some horrible stuff throughout the series; she becomes incredibly distrustful of people and makes some very bad decisions along the way. Maximus is a liar. And I could keep going on about it all. Yes, we do have a CLEAR evil in the series – and I assume in the game – but the line is very thin between everything. 

I am SUPER excited to get a second season. This is a series that’s worth your time. I honestly had some of the most fun. I am so happy that I decided to come around and watch it all because it is easily the best TV drop we’ve got this year. 

9 out of 10, and I am only holding back that one point because I truly believe that it can only get even better from here. 

BRING ME SEASON 2!

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Michelle Holstine
2 months ago

OK ok FINE I’ll watch it.

Iain McParland
Editor
2 months ago

you SHOULD!

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